Fine Bronze Image of Krishna Stealing the Butter Ball
18th-19th century or earlier
This very fine, small cast bronze image depicts Krishna (or Balakrishna) as a crawling infant. He holds a butter ball (or more precisely in this case, and more traditionally accurate, a butter stick) in his right hand. He is naked other than for a chest band, armlets, bracelets, anklets, a waist band, necklaces (one of which appears to support an amulet box to protect him from evil) and earrings. All this detail is finely rendered
The tall, distinctive headdress is unique to Tamil Nadu and is of a type that forms part of the costume for the Kathakali dancers of Kerala. The headdress here is cast with a beautiful radiating petal design to the top.
A balakrishna with a similar headdress in the Norton Simon Museum (M.1977.30.10.S) and illustrated in Pal (2003, p. 277)
Pal, P., Art from the Indian Subcontinent: Asian Art at the Simon Norton Museum, Volume 1, Yale University Press, 2003, p. 277.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 2792